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BizReport : Ecommerce : April 23, 2013


Consumers buy green products to improve image

New research from Mintel reveals that consumers are being persuaded to switch to more environmentally-friendly products to maintain a "green" image.

by Helen Leggatt

Among 18-24 year old consumers, 14% were persuaded to switch to a more environmentally-friendly product as a result of a friend's post on a social networking website. Within the same age group, 12% said they had Liked, Followed or Pinned a company because of their green values.

However, do those who switch to, or Like, an environmentally-friendly product or brand do it out of care for the environment, or is it more to do with improving their image? According to Mintel's research, one in five (19%) say it's important to them that others perceive them as being "green".

Furthermore, of those who feel it is important to be seen to be "green", 24% admit to having purchased a green product just to demonstrate their environmental concerns (vs. 9% on average) and 20% "admit to having concealed recyclable trash in with their regular garbage so that others can't tell they didn't separate their recycling (vs. an 8% average)".

"Clearly, avoiding a potential negative perception from others drives at least some green behaviors. On one hand, the green movement benefits from the social pressures that many consumers feel to go green. On the other hand, because some consumers are acting in an environmentally friendly manner to avoid a negative stigma - and not truly out of concern for the environment - once the social pressure is removed, green behaviors are less likely to stick."

Recent research from Cone revealed that 71% of American consumers consider the environmental impact of the product they buy - up from 66% in 2008. Of those, just under half make their purchase decisions based on on-pack details rather than online research (26%).

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: consumer preferences, environmentally-friendly, green products, loyalty, product marketing, retail, shopping










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